The Court Improvement Program is designed to assess and improve court proceedings regarding foster care and adoption and to help maintain the focus on a child's safety, permanency and well-being. The Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1993 made grant funding available to all states for use in improving their juvenile justice systems. The grants were designed in recognition of the overwhelming pressures on juvenile courts including:
rapidly escalating judicial caseloads;
more difficult cases; and
growing complexity of the litigation itself.
The funding was designed to first enable state court systems to carry out an accurate assessment of their functioning, and then to develop and implement a plan that insures that both the spirit and the letter of recent reforms are in place for children.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic violence (DV) impacts people of all ages and from all walks of life. In the United States, nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have suffered from severe physical violence from a partner. To bring attention to our nation's dedication to eliminating this issue, we have observed Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) each October since 1987. Evolving from the "Day of Unity" first held in October 1981, DVAM is intended to help the nation mourn those who have been lost because of DV, celebrate those who have survived, and connect those seeking to end the violence.
Children exposed to DV can be adversely affected as well. They can feel isolated; be unable to empathize with others; and suffer other emotional, mental, and social damage. The Child Welfare Information Gateway has several publications and resources to help professionals better serve families and children who are affected by DV, such as Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare System and Promoting Protective Factors for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: A Guide for Practitioners. More information is available in Information Gateway's Domestic Violence web section. Also, the following organizations can provide technical assistance training, and resources for professionals and families: